“Small talk isn’t just about being gregarious or entertaining, it is a gesture of respect.”
Brett Nelson, “Forbes”
What is Small talk?
There is nothing small about small talk. Small talk is an important people skill. It’s an important executive skill. ‘Small talk’ is talking about things that are not connected with business. Successful small talk can make a positive impression and also play a role in developing relationships. It is common for small talk to take place among people who do not know each other very well, for example at work meetings, meeting a prospective client, looking to get a job, getting promoted and business conferences.
These days business and interviewing don’t happen in closed doors of the offices always but takes place over business lunches in restaurants. A lot of deals have been made over a great meal. When you are with a customer or a client, it is unlikely that you will always be “talking shop.” Sometimes you will have to engage in what is called “small talk.” Don’t dive right into a business conversation. Prefer to allow a bit of time before getting into “why we’re here”
What does Small Talk allow you to do?
To create a bonding and comfort level with your client
Establishes a positive impression of you and your organization
Stepping stone for a long lasting relationship
Talks about evergreen topics, for example, the weather, city sightseeing, music, hobbies, food, travel and so on
Enhances business prospects and profits
It enables better listening abilities and temporarily un-plug your smart-phone.
Do you find business small talk easy or difficult at Business Lunches?
I cannot coin the right words at the right time to indulge in small talk conversation
I cannot initiate a conversation with strangers
What topics do I talk about?
How can I behave friendly and relaxed with a stranger as I am an introvert
In a conference when people are already discussing a topic I don’t know how to participate and gel with a group
What is the best way I can excuse myself from a conversation?
Do these concerns look familiar? Is this what you think too?
This article focuses on scenarios you might find yourself in at a Business Lunch Meeting
Two scenes are described:
Sets the scene for you
Lists the phrases and expressions you‘ll need and;
Show you how to put these expressions together with authentic dialogues
Scenario One: Business Lunch Meetings
Scene one: Discussing the Menu
Scene Two: Talking restaurants and different cuisines